Day 18 – Memphis

So for this day – I actually wrote a whole blog on my phone and when I exited out of it, it didn’t get saved!!!

You know when you’re so angry you’re like “F*** this!!” and leave it. Well that’s what I’ve done with Day 18.

I will however do a quick re-cap of my first day in Memphis…wpid-20150829_150456.jpg

That whole Saturday it was pretty much a driving day with a stop off at Little Rock Nine school.wpid-20150829_134840.jpg
If you’d never heard of ‘Little Rock Nine’ like I hadn’t, it’s a reference to a group of nine African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957 by a lady called Daisy Bates.
The high school was originally an all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas but when these nine students came along, it became the Little Rock Crisis because of their skin color.
In 1896 there was a law passed by the U.S. Supreme Court which stated that there could be schools just for white children and schools just for black children. However, the schools for black children were not as good and people thought this was unfair.


When the Little Rock Nine turned up to school on the first day (Thanks to Daisy – an American civil rights activist) they got yelled at by other white students and blocked from entering the school by soldiers that the Arkansas governor Orval Faubus hired.
The students obviously hated it and returned home that day in tears.
This is when President Dwight Eisenhower stepped in. He sent the US Army to the school to protect the colored students so they could finally go to school and learn like everyone else.

They did get to study there eventually, but not without being bullied and called names by all the other students. Only 8 of the 9 students made it till the end of the year which I find very brave. I don’t think I could have done it.
However, after that first year the Governor closed all the public high schools in Little Rock as he thought it was better to have no schools at all than have mixed race schools in his town. Many people blamed the Little Rock Nine for this and the racism got even worse.
Obviously that was a very significant moment in history and even though things aren’t perfect today, we have come a long way.

Not all is bad for the Little Rock Nine though, one of the students ended up working for President Jimmy Carter as Assistant Secretary of Labor, Melba Beals became a reporter for NBC news, Thelma earned her master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling and Jefferson Thomas became an accountant for the United States Department of Defense.wpid-20150829_162620.jpgOnce we’d spent a few hours at the Little Rock Center we headed to Memphis to our hotel.
When I got off the bus, I grabbed my bags from under the coach and also my box of alcohol I’d bought in Dallas.
However, as soon as I went to go inside the hotel, the box came apart from underneath and all the bottles smashed to the ground *Sigh* not a good start to Memphis.

As I’m writing this entry nearly a year later (took me awhile to get over this post being deleted obviously) I can’t really remember quite what I did that night.wpid-20150829_200349.jpgI know we all went out to dinner at this place called Kooky Canuck and it was terrible. I think Contiki usually takes their tour there when they’re in Memphis but it was really horrible. I think we went there because they do a ‘Big Burger Challenge’ where you can sign up to eat a massive burger and fries in a certain amount of time.
They did however have really big alcoholic beverages I enjoyed.wpid-20150829_191017.jpgwpid-20150829_162754.jpgAfter dinner, we walked to Beale Street which is known in Memphis as the heart of all Blues music and entertainment. It’s made up of three blocks of nightclubs, restaurants and shops in the heart of downtown Memphis.It’s one of the coolest places to go if you’re ever in Memphis.wpid-20150829_214653.jpgWe all went to one club but we were literally the only people there (Maybe it was too early)
Myself and another girl Marisa ended up leaving the group to go and explore some other clubs as everyone wanted to stay
wpid-20150829_214713.jpgwpid-20150829_215521.jpgwpid-20150829_220558.jpgwpid-20150830_025238.jpgI remember we had such a fun night. We were taking Jello Shots and having drinks everywhere we went.
I think I went to sleep really late now that I think of it because I only had a few hours sleep until I had to wake up!


Day 17 – Dallas 2 (Texas)

I had a bit of a sleep in on Friday morning.
A lot of people on my Contiki went to the JFK museum because they were doing the Dallas Cowboy Stadium Tour at 2pm so wanted to get it over and done with earlier.
As I wasn’t, I went at 11.30am with a few other people.imageimageThe JFK museum was actually pretty interesting. It was an audio tour and talked all about when Mr Kennedy was president, what the public thought of him and how he was assassinated. The museum is actually where they think he was shot from. And when I say ‘think’ it’s because there’s a few conspiracies around who actually shot him.

I don’t know too much about American presidents (as I live in New Zealand and it’s obviously not a big thing for us) but I learnt that John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States and he was assassinated at 12:30 p.m on Friday, November 22nd, 1963, in Dealey Plaza. (Which is where the museum is located)
Kennedy was fatally shot by Lee Harvey Oswald while traveling with his wife Jacqueline in a four-door convertible limousine
Untitled-210Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally’s wife Nellie were also in the car with them but they weren’t hurt. It happened as Nellie (the First Lady of Texas) turned to President Kennedy, who was sitting behind her, and commented, “Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you,” which President Kennedy acknowledged by replying “No, you certainly can’t.” Those were the last words ever spoken by John F. Kennedy.JFK_DallasFrom Houston Street, the presidential limousine made the planned left turn onto Elm Street, allowing it access to the Stemmons Freeway exit. As it turned on Elm, the motorcade passed the Texas School Book Depository. Shots were fired at President Kennedy as they continued down Elm Street. About 80% of the witnesses recalled hearing three shots.John-F-Kennedy-Assassination-ReenactmentA minority of the witnesses recognized the first gunshot they heard as weapon fire, but there was hardly any reaction to the first shot from a majority of the people in the crowd or those riding in the motorcade.
Many later said they heard what they first thought to be a firecracker, or the exhaust backfire of a vehicle, just after the President started waving.
I was talking to a girl on my tour and she was saying how apparently when this whole thing happened there was a lady taking photos while standing in the grass and when the gunfire happened she didn’t even move and she kept taking photos but to this day they’ve never found her. So that’s a bit suss…

A ten-month investigation from November 1963 to September 1964 by the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald acted alone in shooting Kennedy.

It’s worth having a look at the museum as you learn quite a bit about this event.
When I was finished, I went back to the hotel and me and another guy Robert (from Germany) who’s on my Contiki, caught the train to a mall 20 minutes away. I was desperate to find some cowboy boots still because we were heading to the Rodeo that night.imageUnfortunately I never got any 😦 I just couldn’t find any and we didn’t have that much time there before we had to get back to the hotel for the rodeo.
I did however see a Mac make up show going on briefly, ate a yummy sandwich and bought a mac foundation brush.imageWhen we got back to the hotel, I quickly got ready and the people who didn’t go to the stadium  (me and 6 others) hopped on the bus to pick up the others who were finished with the stadium tour.
The bus was so hot when we got on!! I was sitting there fanning myself for so long while I sweated off half my make up. American Summer’s aye.imageWhen we got to the rodeo, we had about 2 hours in Fort Worth before the rodeo started so 12 of us all went and got dinner somewhere and visited a candy store haha.imageimageThe rodeo started about 8pm with some bull riding which was fun to watch. We also watched horse riders lasso a baby calve and quickly tie 3 of its legs together. Whoever was the quickest basically won. It sounds horrible and I did feel quite bad watching as well all these poor animals.
But then i have to remember that they’ve been doing stuff like this for years, and I can’t really kick up a fuss coming into their country 😯 at least they untied them really quickly.imageimageimageWhen the rodeo was over, we all took the bus back to Dallas.
At the beginning I was keen to go our but I hadn’t started drinking and then wasn’t really feeling it by the time we got back to the hotel.
Instead, Paige, Marisa and I went in search for a grocery store for some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. It was however closed so we walked to TGIFS and had some really yummy dessert.TGIF
imageI look very pale in that above picture coz of the flash on my camera haha!
Ben came and joined us later on as he had F all to do and hanging out with girls drinking water is heaps better than hanging out with his room mate Dave.

Think I ended up going to sleep around 1am this morning so I had lots of naps on the bus 😴😴

Next up Memphis! (Where I’m currently on the bus too)

Day 16 – Dallas (Texas)

I think everyone was feeling pretty seedy the next morning on the way to Dallas.
The bus ride took about 4 hours to get there with our usual stop offs for food and snacks etc and arriving in Dallas in the afternoon.

imageimageimageSo what I know about the city of Dallas…It’s known for it’s historical importance as the center for the oil and cotton industries. It’s positioned along numerous railroad lines which made it easier back in the day for the transport of cotton, cattle and later on oil – in North and Eastern Texas.
Dallas and Fort Worth (which are nearby) were developed due to the construction of these major railroad lines.
The airport here in Dallas is also the third busiest airport in the world and is larger than Manhattan Island in NYC!dal6Dallas is known for their Dallas Coy-boys and Cheerleaders. Not to mention they apparently have some of the ‘Best-looking woman in the states’ which I guess the boys on the trip were soon to find out.
7-eleven-officeYou know the store 7-Eleven? Well that was started in Dallas as an ice-selling operation. (So basically they just sold ice) until 1927 when they started selling milk and eggs to customers. Eventually they sold gasoline in 1928 and then the ‘slurpee’ drinks in in 1965 along with many other goods as time went on.imageWhen we arrived in the city of Dallas, we did a quick drive-by to the spot where President John F Kennedy was shot and killed years ago. (But more on that in my next blog)imageimageThe above picture is a photo I took of the Reunion Tower in Downtown Dallas.
It’s 171 meters tall and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Dallas. It was a free standing structure until the construction of the Hyatt Regency Dallas in 1998.imageWe also stopped and took photos of these bulls at Pioneer Plaza.
The bulls honor Dallas’ cowboy past by celebrating the trails that brought settlers to Dallas. It has a flowing stream and waterfall with a re-creation of a cattle drive in the form of bronze statues of longhorns being driven by three horse riding cowboys.

imageimageOur hotel we stayed at in Downtown Dallas – Spring Hill Suites – was probably one of the nicest Hotels so far. It was walking distance to the Dealey Plaza, Dallas Aquarium and American Airlines Center which is the home to sports and concert events.
It was probably the first Hotel we stayed at that we got a couch and TV in a separate room. Faaaancy.

Once we’d all settled into our rooms, myself and a few others went for a little walk.
I think we were trying to find cowboy boots because we were all going out that night but the only store that sold them (which was close by) the boots were $150+
Considering I have no room in my bag I’d have to throw them out and I couldn’t justify spending that much money on them for one night. 😦

That night we all headed around the corner to Ellens Southern Kitchen for dinner where we had the most delicious meal.
I think I’ve just eaten so much crap food lately that it was good to just have some veges and meat. This meal was included in our ‘Contiki price’ like quite a few of our other dinners. (I love all these included meals)
I had a chicken fried chicken (haha I know) with a creamy gravy, broccoli and sweet potato fries (slightly like Kumara)imageimageAfter dinner we all got Uber’s and headed off to this line-dancing type club called Cowboys Red River.homeRedRiver
imageI think a few of us just thought it was going to be a pub with us attempting to line dance with a few old geezers.
We were so wrong! The place was massive, it had a main stage where a country singer was singing with a band, a big circle in the middle of the club where everyone line- danced and a bar in the middle of that.
c34cdcd8000508d2c18bd5cb051c5275-450-190There were around 5 bars spread around the club and all the girls who were either dancing or working the bar were so pretty!
They also had an area of pool tables for everyone to play a few games.
I did attempt a few dances, played some pool and did more dancing when they played more  of the ‘latest pop songs’ haha.
Every local girl knew all the moves to every line dance so it was hard to keep up and act like I knew what I was doing.imageimageMost of us ubered home when the club started to close.
Lucky for me I got to have a bit of a sleep in as I didn’t sign up for the Stadium tour the next day (optional activity)

Overall it was a really good night! 🙂